Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Golden Bowl

I have just finished a "Personal Reading Challenge" It was Henry James' "The Golden Bowl"- and it was really hard going. Sometimes I just like to read hard classics, when I get to the end I not only feel a sense of achievement but they are always thought provoking and rewarding.

I loved the themes in "The Golden Bowl" which are encapsulated in the metaphor of this strange golden bowl. It is not gold but crystal covered with gilt and has a strange fascination for some the main characters in the story. The golden bowl however has a fatal flaw ,and although it is not visible to the more discerning it is obvious that it is there.

In celebration of this book I'm introducing bowls I like. They are not gold and often contain a quality that in the perfection of industrial design would be considered flawed- I however, find them perfect and satisfying in their own way. As a metaphor in my life these bowls contain the rough and the smooth, they are comforting,rewarding and reveal unexpected subtelty with use...

Simon Reece, Australian potter. I drink tea from one of his cups everyday.

Ayumi Horie. Beautiful.
American potter


Anonymous said...

Thrilled to have found your blog, keep it comming, love Melissa

Florence said...

Thankyou for introducing these potter to me. I look forward to seeing more.


Florence said...

Oh, I remembered that William Blake wrote this,

"Thel's Motto

Does the Eagel know what is in the pit?
Or wilt thou go ask the Mole:
Can Wisdom be put in a silve rod?
Or Love in a Golden bowl?"

from the begining of The Book of Thel, William Blake, 1789.


Damon said...

I'm glad you enjoyed The Golden Bowl - it's one of my favourite books.

I wonder: Is the discipline to finish reading sometimes an artistic one? We're accustomed to moving from confusion & tedium to clarity & climax - we recognise the aesthetic payoff.

Put another way, sometimes we can see in other artforms our own struggle to create - and this familiarity motivates us to push on.

(We can be wrong, of course. I just read G.E. Moore's Ethics, and the 'moment of fulfillment' never arrived.)

Does this sound right?